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Lael Rosek-Skyfire: Hope And A Dream

Lael Rosek-Skyfire

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Lael sat staring at the holophoto of her and Chythar on their wedding day, a nostalgic smile turning up the corners of her lips. Moisture formed at the corners of her eyes. Bittersweet tears. They’d had a shorter time together than she would have liked and yet, they had been the best years of her life. Her fingers touched the brown hair of the woman in the photo, the woman’s eyes shining with pure joy and happiness. Filled with hope of a long future ahead.

She reached up to finger the thinning strands, the deep luxurious brown replaced by gray that would soon be tempered by white. Crow’s feet had since formed at the corners of her eyes. Chythar had always corrected her, calling them laugh lines from his prodigious sense of humor. He always had made her laugh. Her life had seen more laughter with him in it than in any of the days before or after.

For the first time in years, she allowed herself to fully feel his absence from her mind. On the nights when she forgot to take her sedative or her body became immune to the current dosage, she would experience the deafening silence as though it was the loudest scream. An ache would develop in her chest and sobs would tear from her throat as though someone was physically torturing her. 

Though she was no stranger to pain and heartbreak, she longed for something that she couldn’t have. At least not this side of heaven. And she had to believe that there was a God and heaven. For her sanity, she had to believe that she would see the man she loved again someday, his features untouched by time, reverted to the youthful man she’d married. They would instantly recognize one another and embrace as though not a moment had gone by. She would feel the texture of his shirt in her hands as she had the first time he’d held her, long before they’d started dating.

Even as friends, they’d seemed to break the rules of what friends should be. Her attraction to him in spite of his indirect role in one of the most painful times of her life had been absolute. What had started as an intangible curiosity about the man had grown into a fondness for his quirks and affection for the candid way he saw the world. He had always been different from everyone else, a fact that her heart caught onto long before her mind did.  

The familiar chime that signaled someone was waiting outside the door to her office echoed in the small space, causing her to look up.

“Enter,” she called.

As the doors parted, she set the photo down in its original place of honor before turning to greet her visitor. For a moment, she forgot to breathe as she often did when he entered a room. The man before her was a spitting image of his father, with the exception of the slight point to his ears and the subtle glow of his green eyes, all marks of his Al-Leyan heritage.

The man’s face fell as he saw her expression. “Mom,” Kaidan murmured as he made his way into the office.

Without asking, he seemed to know what she needed, enveloping her in a tight hug. For long moments, they remained like that, the tears streaming down her cheeks. He’d caught her in an unexpectedly vulnerable moment and she didn’t have the emotional strength to force the mask back into place just now. Her hands clenched at the material of his Starfleet uniform, reminding her of the way Chythar’s had often felt. Closing her eyes, she allowed herself to feel, though she was careful not to project too much of it to her son.

After what seemed like an eternity, Kaidan pulled back wearing that smile that reminded her so much of Chythar when he was feeling particularly affectionate.

“Never underestimate the healing power of hugs,” he murmured.

She laughed through her tears, remembering how Chythar would say that when things seemed hopeless. And she’d loved him all the more for it. Laying her hand on Kaidan’s cheek, her watery smile widened.

“Your father would be so proud of you.”   

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